Cameron Payne Could Be A Steal For OKC: Draft Speculations
With the NBA Draft being just a few days away, Thunder World is beginning to get excited about who will be the newest member of the organization. Historically, our picks grow into stars or contributing role players.
The player we’re expected to draft this year is sophomore point guard Cameron Payne from Murray State. Yes, I know when you hear Murray State, you don’t get excited because it’s not a big name or one of the countries historically elite programs, but that doesn't mean a thing. If you remember, a player by the name of Stephen Curry, that plays the same position came from an even smaller school, Davidson University. I think he turned out to be a pretty good player right? Cameron Payne has that same talent and the stats to be an elite point guard in the league.
Standing at 6’1.5 and weighing in at 183 pounds, Payne’s never really been the most athletic, or the most physically imposing player like we are so used to seeing with Russell Westbrook and former back-up Reggie Jackson. However, this player has the highest basketball IQ I have seen at such a young age, being only 20 years old. He’s also been said to be the most traditional point guard in this league and a sparky player who can pass, shoot and defend the ball well. I’ve seen this kid climb up the draft boards from not expecting to be drafted, to middle second round, into the first round and now he’s a lottery pick.
In his last season at Murray State he averaged 20.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, six assists, a half-block and two steals per game in 32 minutes of play. These are great numbers for a player that’s only two years removed from high school basketball.
Scoring: After playing just two seasons, he still managed to rack up 1,279 points in that short period of time.
Defense: He averages a half-block per game which may not sound like much but considering this kid is a point guard, and just under 6’2, thats spectacular, along with averaging two steals per game.
Basketball IQ: Like i said earlier, this player may be the purest point guard in the draft. He knows exactly how to play the position. He had a 39.5 percent assist rate, which rivals a player by the name of Chris Paul.
Athleticism: Mentioned earlier, Cameron is not Russell Westbrook, as fans we have been spoiled with one of the most athletic point guards to ever play the game. This guy wont physically manhandle most of his competition.
Shooting: He shot 38 percent from the three point strike. This is VERY close to being considered a consistent and solid three point threat but it’s not quite there. This is something he will have to improve on if he wants to be our assumed back-up point guard.
While at Murray State, Payne was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and won 1st Team All-Ohio Valley Conference for the 2014-2015 season. He is a great young player who can for sure back up a Russell Westbrook and slow down the offense a little bit as needed. He reminds me of Mike Conley or better yet, former Thunder guard Eric Maynor before he tore his ACL. Sam Presti is a trustworthy guy when it comes to his draft picks. Lets see where this one takes us if he does indeed decide to draft young Cameron Payne.